Nothing But Quick

More shortly. For now, enjoy this Monta-Bill Withers highlight bonanza, commissioned by yours truly, realized by Outside the NBA. So happy they decided to make this happen.

Colin Cowherd said some shit yesterday, it made me sicker and sicker, so here's 2,000 words on FanHouse taking him to task line-by-line. What a punk.

The dudes at BwB/HHR have been kind enough to put together a booze-soaked afterparty in NYC, following FD's Strand reading on 11/30. More info here. You should sign up for headcount purposes, but it's free, and everyone's invited.

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At 11/04/2010 4:23 PM, Blogger Street said...

Cowherd made me think of Greg Tate line in his review of 50 Cent's sophomore album:

"...the whole project of Afro-diasporic culture may be the triumph of obsessive African stylin over oppressive European savagery..."


At 11/05/2010 2:16 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

There are a couple takeaways here. Colin Cowherd, as Shoals spells out in the piece, uses his pulpit to decry the state of one John Wall, Cowherd extrapolating what can only be the fall of sportsmanship as we know it via Wall's exuberance. He employs a plethora of straw men and guilt-by-associations to make a specious and completely ridiculous point, or make no point at all, what with all the kowtowing to a rabid fan base without the sense God gave a lemming. Even now I've no idea what he means to say about Wall, black men, basketball players, the NBA, sports, sportsmen, radio, ESPN or what. The entire enterprise seems ready to collapse on itself.

Secondly, however, we're left to contend with the demonization of another minority. To what end? If confronted, Cowherd would almost certainly trot out some variation of the "some of my best friends are (insert aggrieved group here)" trope and dismiss out of hand the idea that there's anything the matter with mixing metaphors, subtly encouraging stereotyping, making completely incoherent and factually inaccurate arguments or holding forth on folks about whom he knows next to nothing.

This is, as the Bard intimates, the way to dusty death, a population inured to soundbite-driven media devoid of nuance or the appearance of reasonable thinking. There's something in the water or we, as a species, are becoming exponentially stupider. Rome burns and this cat is decrying a professional basketball player's decision to dance. It's a toss-up, and a stupid one, come to it.

At 11/05/2010 2:36 AM, Blogger bloomer said...

I totally agree Colin Cowherd is a clown . . .

But I disagree with the anti-JWow nickname sentiment. The legendary Wizznutzz have been calling Wall 'JWow' - perhaps they coined it . . .so its alright with me.

At 11/07/2010 4:00 AM, Blogger Henry Bemis said...

Nuanced stances seem to be the windmills of the internerd. That being said, I tilt.
I could not agree more with you on this one Shoals, but I felt that you swung the wrong series of punches (Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A). Cowherd(er) is by the all definitions a tool. Some quick positions and then the meat of my complaint (with that douche, not your slicing of him).

It was a dance. He didn't spend three years looking over blueprints and casing the joint. He did a dance. A very popular dance. I am pretty sure that the defensive player of the year "cranked that soulja boy" all the way to a nickname; a nickname that all but required a cape.

A pregame dance. A dance to pick up a depleted city and a despondent team. The term decimated is so often misused, and in respect to this team, it would have been misused in the other direction. For those not familiar, in the Roman Empire, the term was used to describe the execution of every tenth soldier in mutinous or ill-performing garrisons in order to restore obedience and service. The Wizards are closer to salted Earth than centurions.

Quite often winning is as much belief and desire as it is ability. John Wall stepped up as floor leader to prove that it often pays off to laugh in the face of adversity. I would venture to guess that if polled, the crowd of fans that were in attendance were overwhelming in their approval. The percentages were probable above those who when polled agreed that they liked food, or that air was necessary for life. He was doing his job.

Shoals you nailed it on the false comparisons. Bank robber?

Now on to the tone of his comments, as well as the comments filed after your article, and why I chose to respond in this far more civilized forum.

The conversation is race and it is clear and it needs to be addressed.

Every time I hear "they need to raise the rim" or "these players today don't know the fundamentals" or "remember when the NBA has class", all I can hear are dog whistle calls about "them black boys".

Maybe I am wrong. Then again maybe I am clouded by my experiences, my recognition of quantifiable evidence, and my inability to find the structure of their reasoning beyond simple racism. Let's call it "Ockham's Bigot Magnet."

As a lifelong basketball fan, I have seen the evidence of the flashiness of players of the distant past. There is existing footage of that "street" ball that even pre-dates the birth of my mother and father. Within my own life I remember the bitter jealousy aimed at Michael Jordan. He never passes. He is only about himself. He will never win. Who does he think he is with all those commercials? Now all of those naysayers teach their children to kneel and say their bedtime prayers to that same "show off". Even middle of the road guys were wacky and flashy back in my wee childhood. Remember Darryl "Right-In-Your-Face, Teeth-Shaking, Spine-Quaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker, Chocolate Thunder, Dr. Dunkenstein." Dawkins. (I memorized that from the well-worn video tape titled "Greatest Rocking, Shocking, Dunks and Bloopers" I got from the flea market in 1985).

At 11/07/2010 4:03 AM, Blogger Henry Bemis said...

Flash has been around since day one, and conversely, "fundamental" basketball is not solely practiced by the '66 Adolph Rupps, and Jimmy Chitwood.

In my personal memory I can think of as many flashed out white players (Cousy, Nash, even 'White Chocolate') as I can think of solid, even boring, fundamental black players (Bill Russell, Alex English, Tim 'the Sssomnambulist" Duncan).

The people that bellow about how the game is over run by "the street" or "thugs" or the people-who-are-not-the-players-from-my-memory, also tend to LOVE commenting on the horrible violence in the NBA. As far as I can remember (and I am admittedly HEAVILY biased) the NBA has the most strict policy when it comes to confrontations. If you even look at a referee for too long, saying nothing, you can fork over the cash for a small sport coupe. Earlier this year I recall seeing more than 12 fights in MLB games, three fights in tennis, and two in NFL camp. Tennis fights. And let's not even talk about hockey where Sid the kid was just lauded for finally showing his metal. I do not have the stats at my fingertips, but I read in the middle of last season that there are less than half as many confrontations in the NBA as there are in the next pro sport (MLB) and the ratio of fights in the NBA was less than twenty five to one in comparison to the NHL. However the number of penalties/infractions doled out was actually much higher. The fighting was significantly less, and the penalties were significantly higher, yet the myth of a thuggish and violent league persists.

Brutish thugs that don't understand the game. Freakish animals who are only pros because they were bred like horses. This is not hyperbole, anyone reading this has heard portions of those facetious statements ironed in with what passes for legitimate criticism of the current NBA.

The facts just don't bear out. The past of this beautiful game that I love is not altogether that distant from its present. The hyper-violence and the "air of gang warfare ... and corn rows" that is perceived is pure illusion. The only people I hear pining for the olden days, both in basketball and in life, are cryptically yearning for a "whiter, less muddied" game. The further evidence of this is that it almost entirely comes from those clearly not intimate, or even politely acquainted with the game as it is played today.

(sorry for the length and the lack of proofreading)

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